This is one of a series of posts discussing the presenters at Storage Field Day 10, occurring 25th-27th May 2016 in Silicon Valley, at which I am an attending delegate.  See links at the end of this post to other presenting vendors.  Details of the event can be found on the Storage Field Day 10 page at techfieldday.com and on the dedicated events page on this site at Storage Field Day 10.

SDS – Software Defined Storage is a technology or concept that was initially over-hyped by many vendors.  Looking back over the last few years, any one company that could run their storage product as an appliance or on commodity hardware was suddenly “software defined”.  Unfortunately this highjacking of the term means that today’s truly SDS-based products are blighted by this mis-representation.

Being software defined means more than running on commodity hardware.  At TECHunplugged Austin earlier this year I presented on SDS (slides here).  In the presentation I highlight my definition of SDS that includes; Abstraction, Automation, Policy/Service Driven and Scalability.  Few SDS solutions measure up to all of these requirements, mainly because they don’t abstract the hardware enough to implement QoS that isn’t changed by using faster hardware.  This may seem like nit-picking on my behalf, but I believe if you want truly software defined storage, then the application experience (especially for performance) should be independent of the hardware capabilities.

So with that in mind, step forward Hedvig, a startup vendor selling a distributed storage platform that runs on commodity servers.  Hedvig has lots of storage features, but is it truly “software defined”?  At first glance this appears to be the case.  The presentation at Storage Field Day provides an opportunity to go into more detail and look at the features of the product from an SDS focus.

One interesting area will be their support for container technology.  Containers provide great flexibility to run applications across bare metal servers, within VMs or the public cloud.  This means apps are much more mobile than before, presenting storage with a real headache.  There is already integration between Hedvig and Flocker (a storage abstraction layer for containers) that is trying to solve some of these issues.  At the moment though this seems like a workaround rather than a solid feature.

As my good friend Enrico pointed out in a recent post, vendors are also looking at using containers to deploy storage solutions.  As we strip away the physical boundaries of the storage array, then implementing things like QoS will become more important than ever.  Hedvig’s presentation will definitely be one to watch.

Further Reading

Hedvig is a previous Tech Field Day presenting company:

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Disclaimer:  I was personally invited to attend Storage Field Day 10, with the event teams covering my travel and accommodation costs.  However I was not compensated for my time.  I am not required to blog on any content; blog posts are not edited or reviewed by the presenters or the respective companies prior to publication.  

Copyright (c) 2009-2016 – Chris M Evans, first published on https://blog.architecting.it, do not reproduce without permission.

Written by Chris Evans

With 30+ years in IT, Chris has worked on everything from mainframe to open platforms, Windows and more. During that time, he has focused on storage, developed software and even co-founded a music company in the late 1990s. These days it's all about analysis, advice and consultancy.